Days 271 to 294 – Early Spring in Arizona

Six days in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Lake Mohave, AZ at the Willow Beach Marina and RV Park – what a great campground, desert-mountain scenic and right on the Colorado River!  Three days of ATVing (to the river near Lake Mohave, to the Mesa View, and to Horse Thief Canyon), one day of river rafting (with Black Canyon River Tours – from the Hoover Dam downstream to Willow Beach), and three days of relaxing for B&B.  For me, two days of swimming in the cold, crystal clear Colorado.  Despite the fact that it got up to 91 in the baking sun and winds picked up at 3PM, I loved it!

Willow Beach RV Park

Willow Beach to Lake Mohave

to Horse Thief Canyon

Colorado River Rafting


We got lucky!  Our first day in Kingman, AZ was sunny and relatively warm, so B&B took the Black Dog up to the Hualapai Mountain ATV Trails for a great ride (lots of streams and rocks).  Their plan was to go back the next day, but the weather changed – cold, overcast, windy, damp, and snowy for the next two days.  C’est La Vie (I speak and understand many languages)!  The Blake Ranch RV Park was OK for me; a good-sized dog park, some trees, and plenty of places to walk and sniff.

Hualapai Mountain ATV Trails


More ATVing at the Alto Pits in Prescott, AZ where the actual trails are restricted to ATVs 50” or less in width.  Well, Mr. Big decided to buy the Black Dog (a Polaris RZR 900) because it is only 50” wide and (theoretically)  would therefore be able to go on (the many) width-restricted trails.  Surprise – it’s 50” at the bottom, but the addition of the roof adds about 4” to the width at the top.  Needless to say, they had issues – and on one tight trail the roof smashed into the same tree twice – going in and going out!  The poor Black Dog is no longer new and shiny!  The Fairgrounds RV Park was not for me, but it was the only place around.  I did however really enjoy our walk around the town square (and the stop for lunch) in Historical Prescott.  The Boss is weird – all the quaint jewelry stores with unique, southwestern earrings and bracelets and she buys MORE books (and not even new ones).  Mr. Big says that I am just like her, but I’ld go for the glitter!

the Alto Pits


Camp Verde, AZ at Distant Drums RV Resort.  “Who designs these places?” Mr. Big asks.  Once again our site is sloped to the extent that our back wheels are off the ground – NFG!   However, two days of ATVing on various Camp Verde Trails and two days of visiting the nearby National Monuments at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot (both ancient indian cliff-dwelling sites) almost made up for a crummy site.  I say almost because although the ATV trails took B&B through the beautiful desert-in-bloom, one trail also had several cattle gates that were very short and high-domed; ultimately the Black Dog got stuck on one and the skid plate was ripped halfway off!  What a drag (hah hah)!  No more ATving for a while….

Pretty Flowers and Killer Cattle Gates on the Camp Verde Trails

Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments


In Williams, AZ we stayed the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park.  While B&B took the train (on the luxury dome car) to the Grand Canyon, I was bathed in luxury at the Dog Hotel!  It was wonderful!  Apparently the food and drinks served on the train and lunch at the El Tovar were excellent, because the Boss didn’t need to eat for a whole day afterwards (and she passed out for two hours when they returned).  She did have the energy to complain about the weather on the South Rim – mostly cloudy and on the chilly side.

the Grand Canyon Railway and South Rim


Our final stop in Arizona (for a while) was Springerville – at the Casa Malpais RV Park – where it was all about Atving in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest.  The Boss was disappointed in the Maverick ATV TrailPowell Mountain Loop; incredibly dusty, not very scenic, all torn up from some kind of construction, and not challenging.  The Saffel Canyon OHV Area was, on the other hand, great fun – until Mr. Big tried to drive on a snow-covered trail.  The day was warm and sunny and the snow was mostly gone, but on this one section of the trail it was an 18” wet-pack and the Black Dog got hung up (wheels 6” off the ground) half way through!  Out came the shovel, but it would have taken hours to shovel free, so out came the winch.  Luckily, Mr. Big had an extra 25’ tow-rope and he was able to find a tree within range on which to hook up, and they were able to pull themselves out.  After turning around, the Boss found a way back through the trees that circumvented the snow-covered trail, but she took a huge slow-motion fall on a slippery log.  Why doesn’t this sound like so much fun to me???  They were both laughing when they got home, so I guess all is well.

Saffel Mountain OHV

Next it’s back to New Mexico!  Summer is coming and I think it will be a hot one, so stay cool!  Your friend, Buster.



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